|About SWCP: Project Description
|Project Description | Partners | Advisory Committee
The purpose of developing the watershed conservation plan is to provide a holistic, ecosystem-based approach to natural resources conservation and land-use planning. By providing a broad context for coordinated watershed conservation efforts as well as a valuable conservation-planning tool, the watershed plan will empower local organizations to focus limited resources more efficiently on projects and solutions most urgently needed.
Develop a GIS-based framework for organizing natural resource data, performing water quality modeling and conducting landscape-level analyses
A GIS is a computer hardware and software system designed to collect, manage, analyze and display spatially referenced data. Within the vast 1,900 square-mile watershed, there are numerous diverse issues. The GIS is a tool to help us understand the many parts of this complex system. Data input into the GIS include, for example, topography, roads, political boundaries, soils and hydrography.
Besides compiling GIS data, a hydrologic/water quality model will help identify sources of water pollution. The model predicts annual runoff, average annual soil loss and average annual nutrient loading.
Analysis of the GIS data will not only help determine water quality issues but will also enable the analysis of landscape issues, including riparian buffer widths, forest fragmentation and growth/development patterns. Through the landscape analysis, lands important to preserving water quality, providing habitat and greenway linkages between open space areas will become apparent.
Conduct an inventory of existing monitoring data, plans and studies completed in the watershed
Gather public input
Public Opinion Poll: A telephone survey of 800 watershed residents was conducted to learn about general attitudes about the watershed environment and natural resources. Overall, we found some surprising results. For more information read about the results from our public opinion poll.
Advisory Committee: A diverse 25-member advisory committee, composed of nonprofit organizations, businesses and public agencies, meets to provide general guidance about the development of the plan. A list of advisory committee members is available online.
Public Meetings: A series of 12 regional public meetings will be held throughout the watershed to learn what issues and projects are important to watershed residents. For Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery and Chester Counties these meetings are organized by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. For Berks, Lebanon and Lehigh Counties, the public meetings are organized by the Berks County Conservancy. The Schuylkill River Greenway Association is leading the public meetings for Schuylkill and Carbon Counties. Find out when the next public meeting is scheduled for your area or contact the group organizing the event by referring to "contact us."
Public Agency Interviews: In an effort to improve coordination with public agencies and understand what issues and projects are important to public entities, numerous officials will be interviewed. These interviews will also provide a framework for clarifying what resources exist to support future conservation projects.
Completing the Plan
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